About two weeks ago, I was discussing fasted weightlifting with a fellow vegan fitness enthusiast when Dr. Nun Amen-Ra came up in conversation. He is a vegan powerlifter who’s very fit and practices intermittent fasting eating roughly 1,200 calories only once a day. This athlete also has a powerlifting record of 672 lb deadlift at 176.6 bodyweight.
The video of this incredible feat is below:
Obviously this fascinated me since it goes against everything in the bodybuilding world vegan and not. My friend went on to say how he began to do fasted weight-lifting and had more energy and a better workout because of it. So I decided to try it out for a few days.
“ When the body learns to exert itself without any food, it gets better at performing when it does have fuel in the tank. ”- Greatist.com
Before I started this, I had those thoughts of “That’s crazy!”, “How am I going to get through MY intense workout without food first?”. The surprise is I did get through them, even through my two most grueling days: legs and back.
Some of the benefits I experienced were:
1. Increased energy –
For the best results for me, I did my workouts in the morning with water and Vega pre-workout. I cannot explain it on scientific terms, but the more days I did the “fasted” way, the more energy I had to complete my workouts.
2. Added strength –
It’s really common to think that one would lose strength with an empty stomach, but I had the opposite effect. I made PR’s (personal records) during many of my lifts.
3. My body looks better –
Could I have lost some body fat doing this? Maybe… maybe not. I go by the results I see in the mirror, not numbers on the scale. I noticed that some of my muscles with an emphasis of my abdominals were more pronounced.
I haven’t been doing this for very long, but I definitely notice a difference in my performance when I had food in my system. I felt weaker and not 100% focused. Could that be connected? I have no clue, but it’s something I will be paying more closer attention to.